Insight, Tips, Advice please?

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Insight, Tips, Advice please?

Post by Rxxl on 12/04/13, 03:41 pm

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I'm a 40 year old man looking into being a barber. I'm no stranger to clippers but no barber or stylist by any stretch of the imagination. There's a lot I've found I really am into about barbering as a career. And like anything some things I'm nervous about. There is no school near me so I would need to go to Cosmo school and then try to apprentice at a barber shop to get that license. Please any thoughts or insights would be GREATLY appreciated. I've been researching and soul searching and visiting shops and speaking to barbers. So I'm not just throwing darts here. Someone suggested I do it part time to build up a clientele. But ultimately I want to have my own shop and have a vision of what that will be. But could use the facts and the un romantic truths. What do you live about it and hate about it? THANKS. R.

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Re: Insight, Tips, Advice please?

Post by Rxxl on 13/04/13, 12:59 pm

Audi my man I didn't take any offense. I was just telling you so as to rest assured I have respect for the craft and what you guys do and I'm not one of these guys who thinks he could just step into it and its a piece of cake. Kd when I was saying simple I just meant as far as what cuts and tasks I take on initially. Not that being a batber is simple or barbers are simple. Just on case anyone thought that's what I meant. Though for me at this point simple is a good thing. Don't you worry Audi. You're off the hook now but I'll have a ton more questions. Lol. I don't know nearly enough yet to have really asked any good ones. Smile

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Re: Insight, Tips, Advice please?

Post by Rxxl on 13/04/13, 01:02 pm

Kd I know what you mean about fulfillment in career. I recently went to a job fair and nothing there clicked with me as it might have in the past. Jobs where in the past I thought may be the one for me and would have lined up for I just strolled by.

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Re: Insight, Tips, Advice please?

Post by saintsfan on 13/04/13, 03:03 pm

I'll tell you how my experience went and I how I got interested in the profession.

I graduated from Troy university in Alabama in 2005 with a bachelors degree in I.S. I had always been told if you got a job in computers you'd always have a job. Problem with that was I didn't really care for it and I wasn't that good at it either! After moving back home I worked for a friends family business and realized it was not going anywhere since I wasn't a family member. I took a long hard look of something that I could get into that wouldn't cost me an arm and a leg to learn, something that I could pick up relatively quickly and something that was needed in my area. Barbering seemed like the logical decision since there was only 1 legitimate barber in a town of 16k people.

I found a school in Florida about an hour from where I live in Alabama. I figured at the time I would just work in Florida for a while and eventually start working back in Alabama after I go done with school. Wile I was in school they encouraged us to go visit different barbers and shops and tell them who we were and if they would mind if we watched them work. I found a guy in Alabama that was willing to let me come in once a week and watch him and pick his brain.

It was an extreme blessing because the way the law works in Alabama, barber shops are regulated on a county basis and the county I live and work in you have to apprentice under a barber to get a license. There are no barber schools here. With that said most the barbers around here wouldn't bring an apprentice with at least the basic knowledge, which is the foundation barber school taught me.

Anyways after coming into the guys shop for about four months and getting close to finishing school he took me in as an apprentice. Initially it was one day a week and it quickly evolved into a full time job. I learned way more on the job than I did in school but I don't think I could have done that unless I had the basics.

I'll be having my one year anniversary in my own shop this Tuesday and I couldn't be any happier with the business so far. Everyone told me the first year on your own is the hardest and I hope they're right because its been a great first year!

I was very fortunate when I decided to get into barbering as I was still in my twenties, my wife had a great job, we didn't have any children and the job I had allowed me to leave early to go to school and gave me a day off each week to apprentice. Like I said, very fortunate!

It has been the best decision I have ever made (other than marrying a wonderful girl!). I love the trade and can't see myself doing anything else. How bad is it to go to work and cut a little hair and shoot the bull all day! There is something to be said for being self employed. It can be scary at sometimes but it is one of the most rewarding things someone can do.

I wish you the best of luck and hopefully that gave you a little insight!
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Re: Insight, Tips, Advice please?

Post by Rxxl on 13/04/13, 03:10 pm

Definitely saintsfan. Thank you.

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Re: Insight, Tips, Advice please?

Post by LD on 13/04/13, 05:42 pm

Rxxl,

You should take KD up on his offer to go and meet with him and get the benefit of his experience, wisdom and insight.

The ideal world would be to be able to study the theory in the classroom and learn cutting via an apprenticeship, an internship, or at least a much more shop-focused school environment. Because it is very true that you will learn an awful lot when you actually start working in a shop. But, alas, we are stuck with the systems that the states have saddled us with.

Watch and talk with as many different barbers as you can. There are some dvd's you can get and learn from. You can learn from a lot of different sources, but it's probably best to focus on barbers more than cosmetologists. And after you get your license, try to find a shop with an old-school barber who'll mentor you because they can get you really soaring.

It is a really great profession. You won't regret it.

Enjoy,

LD


Last edited by LD on 13/04/13, 05:45 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Addition)

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Re: Insight, Tips, Advice please?

Post by Rxxl on 13/04/13, 08:24 pm

Thanks LD. I'm shocked there isn't a barber school here. Or even at the local Boces. Even of they only took a few guys each term. I guess I'll have to start one later on.

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Re: Insight, Tips, Advice please?

Post by Rxxl on 13/04/13, 08:26 pm

How did you guys build up clientele? Obviously skill and great work speak volumes. But other than that? How long did it take you before you were making ends meet just with barbering?

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Re: Insight, Tips, Advice please?

Post by Rxxl on 13/04/13, 08:28 pm

And I was mistaken. The ABI program is only in NYC area and the Bices program is 5 mos not 3. I was calculating 8 hours class days.

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Re: Insight, Tips, Advice please?

Post by Rxxl on 14/04/13, 11:36 am

Kd I could come out tomorrow but it wouldn't be until about 4:30p I could get there. Thoughts?

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Re: Insight, Tips, Advice please?

Post by Rxxl on 14/04/13, 11:58 am

Does anyone know about Sharp Edgez or Shear Ego schools in Rochester NY? Looking into those as well as the DCMO Boces program.

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Re: Insight, Tips, Advice please?

Post by kdbarker on 14/04/13, 12:17 pm

Rxxl wrote:Kd I could come out tomorrow but it wouldn't be until about 4:30p I could get there. Thoughts?

Yes, tomorrow (Monday) around 4:30pm would be fine.
We won't be able to visit the school since no one is available after 3:00pm (I should have become a teacher... scratch )
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Re: Insight, Tips, Advice please?

Post by SCbarber on 14/04/13, 12:49 pm

Don't go to cosmo school, if you want to be a barber it will be a complete waste of time. Took me 3 years to build a steady clientele. You have to make up for the ones who never come back for what ever reason or just go to who ever they want. Loyalty is not like it used to be.

I went to school for 1500 hrs. never missed a day (dedicated to say the least) was the ONLY white guy in my class out of 22 students, learned to cut african american hair but nothing about caucasian, got my license, worked in 6 different shops and struggled my first two years, and I mean struggled. I took what I wanted from each and every shop. The old time barbers would not tell me anything. It took me ten months to figure out how to taper with clipper and comb, don't laugh, it did. No one would show me. I kept at it and then one day....it ALL came together.

I went into it because there are no barbers around when the current ones die off, that is it, they are gone....except me Smile I love it and would not want to do anything else.
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Re: Insight, Tips, Advice please?

Post by Rxxl on 14/04/13, 01:38 pm

That's awesome SC. Even the struggles. Did you have it hard because you went to Cos school instead of barbering? Or did you go to barber school and just have bad luck after?

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Re: Insight, Tips, Advice please?

Post by Rxxl on 14/04/13, 01:43 pm

Kd I can come earlier of you want to take a walk they the school with me. About 1:30. I had a meeting with Continental Cosmo School here at 2 and was at least going to honor that meet and see what they had to say. But I can resched. According to everyone it's big wise for me to go to such a school anyway. But it is an option I may have to do if the distance and timing to barber school seems to be unable for me to take on. Kd if I had to live there during the week what places are there around to stay?

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Re: Insight, Tips, Advice please?

Post by SCbarber on 14/04/13, 01:49 pm

Rxxl wrote:That's awesome SC. Even the struggles. Did you have it hard because you went to Cos school instead of barbering? Or did you go to barber school and just have bad luck after?

I went to barber school, no cosmo here.
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Re: Insight, Tips, Advice please?

Post by Rxxl on 14/04/13, 09:22 pm

1500 barber school. Damn. Most I've seen is 680hrs. Thanks for the info SC. Kd I'm still trying to work out a sitter for my boys so I'm not sure when/if I'll get out your way tomorrow. But I'll let you know as soon as I do in the am. Post here I guess? I talked to a friend who has family in Norwich and said its 80 miles and almost a two hour drive to get there. All back roads wich can be slow going. Have you ever driven it to syracuse? If so how long did it take you? Google Maps says about 1 1/2.

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Re: Insight, Tips, Advice please?

Post by kdbarker on 15/04/13, 08:41 am

Rxxl wrote:1500 barber school. Damn. Most I've seen is 680hrs. Thanks for the info SC. Kd I'm still trying to work out a sitter for my boys so I'm not sure when/if I'll get out your way tomorrow. But I'll let you know as soon as I do in the am. Post here I guess? I talked to a friend who has family in Norwich and said its 80 miles and almost a two hour drive to get there. All back roads wich can be slow going. Have you ever driven it to syracuse? If so how long did it take you? Google Maps says about 1 1/2.

I'll PM you with my personal contact info. If you can get here before 1:00pm, we can drive over to the school. I got the OK from the head instructor.
I've driven to Syracuse many times, it takes me a little over an hour (depending on where I'm going) its not a bad drive at all. A young Barber in Norwich (John at Sharp Edge Barber Shop) is from Syracuse. He went to the Boces Barbering class in Norwich and ended up settling in Norwich... its a nice area.


Last edited by kdbarker on 15/04/13, 10:57 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added details)
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Re: Insight, Tips, Advice please?

Post by Rxxl on 15/04/13, 10:56 am

No way I'll make it by 1:00. I couldn't resched my 2 o clock appt so I'll be at least holding that obligation.

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